Author Topic: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain  (Read 145404 times)

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Offline investigator

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Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« on: April 08, 2004, 04:22:17 AM »
What sort of a woman was Princess Anne?  She died at a young age.  How did her death effect Alexandra? Did her serious nature come because of her mother's death?
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Janet Whitcomb

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2004, 01:47:21 PM »
You'll find a number of wonderful books about Alice, many of which also deal with the lives of her siblings, or of the Hesse-Darmstadt line.

From what I have read, early on Princess Alice of England showed herself to be a serious, intellectual young woman, intent on ministering to those around her.  After her marriage, and despite her growing family, she found time for a number of interests, paricularly medicine and religious philosophy.  As I understand it, to this day she is considered a great benefactress by the citizens of Hesse-Darmstadt.

Despite her being very young at the time, little Alix had to have been tremendously affected by the loss of her mother, not to mention everyone's subsequent immersion in black, plus all those trips to England and Grandmama Victoria's focus on the dear departed.  As Alix passed into adolescence many would comment on her "moodiness"--at some times laughing and light-hearted, other times withdrawn, even sullen. (Traits that many teenagers possess, but seem to have been especially pronounced in Alix!) As the youngest surviving child, and with a nature that matched her mother's own thoughtul and highly determined personality, the primary (and ultimately fatal) difference between the two of them was that Alice felt the concept of royalty outmoded, but Alix--especially upon her marriage--embraced it wholeheartedly.

Incidentally, for a dramatization of certain segments of Alice's life, you way wish to to take a look at the 1980s British miniseries, Edward the King.

Offline BobAtchison

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2004, 09:53:39 AM »
Alice's signature is VERY like Alix's - don't you think?

Bob

Offline JM

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2004, 08:23:38 AM »
Does anybody know what happend to the girls' old school workbooks?

Offline Thierry

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2004, 03:09:51 PM »
Quote
But the inscription on the book said that this page was one "in a private album of the Princess Alice.." would this be Grand Duchess Alice's?


More probably it belonged to Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone, daughter of the Duke of Albany and sister-in-law of Queen Mary...

Offline Thierry

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2004, 03:13:27 PM »
And by the way, Elisa, which is the exact title of the book you are talking about ?

Thanks !  :)

Offline JM

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2004, 05:12:48 PM »
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Does anybody know what happend to the girls' old school workbooks?


Sorry for not being clear. I meant OTMA.

Actually I found a reference in Kurth's book about Anna Anderson. Ian Lilburn ( ???) purchased the school books in London for 500 pounds. Where are they now?

Offline Sarai

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2004, 08:48:08 AM »
One thing that I particularly like about the Princess Alice was her forward way of thinking. She was really quite remarkable for her time in some ways. My impression of her is that outwardly she appeared to be the perfect Victorian wife and daughter, and seemed rather meek and submissive, but inside she was a strong lady with a sharp mind and passionate opinions. She had to be strong to nurse her ailing father during his last days and to comfort her widowed mother for so long as she so capably did, even becoming her personal secretary of sorts. Like her sister Vicky, she was quite intelligent and a good learner, albeit with a sweeter and gentler personality.

For a short time (I believe it was after Frittie's death), she even came to question her belief in religion, and this was at a time when that was nearly unthinkable. Another thing she did which defied the conventions of her time can be found in the surprising but refreshing letter which she wrote to her husband, published in Gerard Noel's book. It basically stated how unhappy she was with their marriage, how disappointing it was that he was not her intellectual equal, and how they did not have much in common at all. I think that must have taken quite a bit of courage to write, but most of all to first admit that to herself, at a time when women were supposed to idolize their husbands, ignore their shortcomings, and basically be in denial about their unhappy marriages. She probably did love her husband and was devoted to him, but she was also able to be perfectly honest with both him and herself, and realize that they were not a perfectly suited match.

Some authors contend that Alix did not inherit her mother's great interest in intellectual matters. I think this is in part true, because she didn't seem interested in scholarly or intellectual pursuits very much at all. Her interests lay more in religious study. I wonder what she thought, being such a deeply religious person, about her late mother's questioning of her faith for a time. I think that for all that mother and daughter had in common, it is a striking difference that the mother appeared to be, if anything, more progressive in some ways than her more conservative daughter, even though it's usually the other way around.

I would love to read Alix's thoughts about her mother, based on what she learned of her from relatives and perhaps even books or articles, as she couldn't have remembered very much herself. I tend to think, however, that perhaps neither her relatives nor authors of the time would have been completely forthcoming about what they may have considered the more unappealing (to their eyes) aspects of her personality, such as her crisis of faith. Unfortunately, I haven't come across many references to Alice in her daughter's writings, only references to remembering her on the anniversaries of her passing, etc., but I know full well that she still loved her even if she didn't talk much about her.

All in all, then, I think we can all agree that Alice was a complex and intelligent woman, thinking beyond her times when it came to topics such as marriage and religion, and she could have taught her children so much to further enlighten them.

Offline Janet_W.

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2004, 12:37:27 PM »
I agree with you, Sarai. Alice is definitely one of the most remarkable women I have run across in my royal readings. I particularly admire her frankness in that letter to her husband, as well as her crisis of faith which I consider could only happen to someone who was both introspective and intellectually gifted.  Another aspect of her life which I admire is that she and her older sister "Vicky" ignored their mother's rantings and ravings against nursing their own babies. Although they could at times bicker, I am sure Alice's death was a tremendous personal and even political loss to Vicky, who certainly could have used Alice's support during the years that her son Wilhelm became more and more obstreporous and her husband's health worsened.

Offline jfkhaos

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2004, 07:39:55 AM »
Is it possible for anyone to post an image of the paintings that Alexandra had of her mother?  Considering Alice died so young, I have found it very difficult to find images of her during her marriage except for a rare few.  

Thanks!

Offline Dano

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2004, 07:39:58 AM »
There is an outstanding biography of Princess Alice - 'Princess Alice,Queen Victoria's Forgotten Daughter' by Gerard Noel, which may be still available in paperback.'Hessian Tapestry' by David Duff is also worth reading.
The Princess named her daughter Alix because Alice could not be pronounced properly in the German tongue.
Dano.

Offline Lisa

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Offline jfkhaos

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2004, 07:09:59 AM »
Elisa,

It would be great if you could post a pic or a link of the Angeli family portrait.  Thanks!

Offline RomanovFan

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2004, 05:31:51 PM »
It's understandable, though, Alice and Alix's handwriting would've been similar.They were mother and daughter.
(My own mom and I are like that. I'll write something on the same peice of paper next to what she did and sometimes I can't tell who wrote what! :) )
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Offline RomanovFan

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Re: Grand Duchess Alice of Hesse, Princess of Great Britain
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2004, 06:38:16 PM »
Was their marriage a happy one? or were they forced to marry for financial reasons or the need for heirs?   ???
~LESLIE~

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